Special Olympics changes lives and brings people together. Now you can stay in touch with Special Olympics Arizona’s monthly electronic Newsletter! Get the scoop on recent events; be the first to hear about new volunteer opportunities; and learn about upcoming events in your area and around the state.
Welcome to the Special Olympics Arizona family!
My name is Reece Thulstrup and I'm a senior at Liberty High School. I'm a member of a Unified Club and have participated in R-Word campaigns at my school, which are awesome! This club has taught me to treat everyone the same and to be the positive voice the others need to hear! I am now honored to be a part of the Special Olympics Youth Activation Committee and be able to empower my school and community to live unified! My first event with Special Olympics Arizona was Fall Games and I loved every minute of that experience! I have been able to make great friendships at my school and it has changed my life. I can't wait to see what my future holds!
My name is Teresa Munguia. I am sixteen years old and a Junior at Hamilton High School. My brother, who has autism, joined the Special Olympics program just a few years ago. This led me to the opprotunity to help others by being a Unified Partner for basketball and cheerleading. On a personal note, I myself have a very mild case of cerebal palsy on my left side but no one seems to notice. I support Project Unify because I want everyone to have the same acceptance that I feel. Also, Project Unify bridges the gap which allows us to make lifelong friendships with anyone despite their appearance or abilities.
Hello, my name is Allie Robinson, 15 years old and I am an incoming sophomore at Lake Havasu High School. My first experience working with special needs kids was in 2nd grade when I was asked to help with arts and crafts. Ever since, I have had a passion for working with special needs. I have moved several times, but I always find a way to help such as making friends or going to the park with them. When I moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, my mom and I volunteered at the Special Olympics event we hold I town. We had unfortunately lost connection with the directors after that. With my freshman year coming to an end, our class project in Key Club (a community service club at the high school), I thought I should try to reach out to whomever hosted the Special Olympics Track & Field event in town. I met with Lisa Bell who opened my eyes to how many opportunities there are to help. Key Club then came to the event and cheered on the competitors. Our hearts melted when we saw the joy and excitement on their faces as they competed. We plan to attend each year after we realized how amazing it was. Lisa introduced me to YAC and I later spoke with Brittany Doud who went into further detail about YAC. These ladies have made me thrilled to join YAC and I’m excited for what’s to come.
My name is Josh Kaplan, and I'm a 17 year-old incoming senior at Rancho Solano Preparatory School in Scottsdale, Arizona. I first became involved with Special Olympics when I joined my soccer club's Unified team at 12 years old. The program ended a year later, but my love for Unified sports didn't! In February of 2015, I created GOALS (Giving Opportunities to All who Love Soccer), a Unified soccer program for kids with and without special needs. Twice a month we host non-competitive, small-sided soccer scrimmages. Because of GOALS, I was able to attend the Special Olympics Social Impact Summit in Los Angeles last summer. I'm so excited to share my love for Unified sports with even more kids through the Youth Activation Committee!
My name is Bethany Considine, I am sixteen years old and a junior at Raymond S. Kellis High School. I have always seen my mom as a role model in my life and her involvement with Special Olympics encouraged me to be involved as well. I became directly involved in high school by joining Unified Sports, Project UNIFY, and Best Buddies. In previous years, I have volunteered multiple times at Special Olympics tournaments that range for area tournaments to state games. Special Olympics has given me many opportunities to meet and develop new friendships across Arizona. I believe everyone should be accepted equally for who they are, and I want to continue seeing that happen in the world as I participate on the State Youth Activation Committee.